Design Museum Helsinki presents a retrospective of the substantial work of visual artist and jewellery designer Ruudt Peters in the exhibition BRON (Source). BRON gives an overview of Peters’ rebellious jewellery from the early seventies to the more profound works based on the exploration of other cultures, customs and habits from a more recent period.
Curiosity about human existence and its essence forms the foundation of Peters' work. He continuously researches different cultures, philosophies, religions and materials. He observes, explores and interprets. His findings are the basis on which he creates jewellery and objects that are never literal translations of what he sees, but materialisations and internalisations of his own thoughts and imagination. Peters' main questions are focussed on religion, philosophy and alchemy and how they relate to him. He manages to turn these questions into art with a highly recognizable visual idiom. Peters: “All my jewellery is interconnected and springs from a flowing process of events and various sources of inspiration. Cause and effect. Action-reaction. Falling down and getting up. Uncertainty. Discovery. Curiosity. This together forms the BRON exhibition, an exhibition that does not only offer an overview of my work but also explores my sources of inspiration. In addition, short films, which can be called up through QR codes, enable the spectator to discover a deeper layer in my work.”
Because Peters did not feel at home in the highly dogmatic climate that characterised jewellery during the 1970s, he moved from jewellery towards sculptural solutions early on. It is no coincidence, then, that Peters has been exhibiting his work in installation formats since the 1990s. At the time, he was one of the first jewellery artists who considered jewellery and the way it is presented to be of equal importance. Thus Peters presents his jewellery to the spectator in a logical and stimulating context. With his much-discussed and striking installation presentations, he did not only make the installation form part of his idiosyncratic signature; he also shows how important the actual surroundings and context are for jewellery as sculpture.
By inviting an internationally renowned specialist in the field to Finland, the museum wishes to expand the understanding of modern practices in contemporary design in the international arena. Looking at Peters’ work is a wonderful opportunity for this.
BRON was first exhibited at CODA Museum in Apeldoorn, the Netherlands (2017). Then it was showcased in Estonia and China, and now in Finland at Design Museum Helsinki.
The exhibition is accompanied by a book (270 p) published by Arnoldsche publishers, which is also on sale at the museum’s Design Shop.
Exhibition design: Ruudt Peters & Leo Versteijlen
Visual artist and jewellery designer Ruudt Peters (1950) attended the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam. In 1973 he founded Galerie Ekster in Leeuwarden. Next to jewellery and sculpture, Peters works on various projects in public spaces. Examples are the fountain in front of the Hieronymus Bosch Art Center in Den Bosch and the projects he worked on in public places in Amsterdam. He received the Herbert Hofmann Award in 2004 and was awarded the Françoise van den Bosch Award for his entire oeuvre in 2000 and the Marzee Award in 2005.
Peters’ creative method involves in-depth research on a given subject, the result of which is then seen in an exhibition. Over 44 years the artist has created 24 series of conceptual jewellery, which he has exhibited as solo exhibitions 75 times in many galleries and museums around the world. He has participated in more than 90 group exhibitions. His work can be found in museum collections in the Netherlands and around the world in various private collections. They can regularly be seen at RA Gallery in Amsterdam, Marzee Gallery in Nijmegen, Spektrum Gallery in Karlsruhe, Ornamentum Gallery in Hudson in New York State and Rob Koudijs Gallery in Amsterdam and others. Close to 20 books have been published about his work.
Peters taught among others at the Hogeschool voor de Kunsten in Kampen, the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam, Ädellab Konstfack in Stockholm, Alchimia in Florence and the Estonian Academy of Arts in Tallinn. He has organised numerous workshops in conceptual jewellery at his studio and summer house and elsewhere. Peters is one of the initiators of the new master’s programme in jewellery, Challenging jewellery, at the Sandberg Instituut, in Amsterdam.
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